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Mobile Phones

Volume 407: debated on Tuesday 24 June 2003

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The Department for Transport has today announced the results of public consultation on a proposal for a new offence of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving. The consultation was launched on 20 August last year and closed on 25 November 2002. Over 1,000 responses were received and some 88 per cent. were broadly in favour of the introduction of a new offence.A regulation, subject to the negative resolution procedure, will be laid before Parliament as soon as possible to prohibit the use of a hand-held mobile phone while driving. It is intended that the new offence should take effect from 1 December 2003. Initially offenders will be subject to a £30 fixed penalty notice, increased to a maximum fine of £1,000 (or £2,500 for drivers of lorries, buses and coaches) if the matter goes to court. When a suitable legislative opportunity arises the offence will be made subject to the endorsement of 3 penalty points.Copies of the letter announcing the results and a summary of the points made during consultation have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.